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Old 02-21-2012, 05:37 PM   #61
lousgoose
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Here's something not mentioned yet and it just about better satisfies all of your criteria than almost anything. Ducati GT1000. It's super light compared to these other bikes, has great pillion accomodations, has about 85-90hp. This is mine farkled up and dressed this way it is one of if not the best all purpose street bikes I've ever driven. Period.

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lousgoose screwed with this post 02-21-2012 at 06:00 PM
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:19 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by AlecMyrddyn View Post
Thanks jon_l;

From my reading, it sounds like the cam-head R1200R is a much better motor than the hex-head. And since the 'R is such a low-volume bike, finding either used may be tough. And R1200R search within 1,000 miles of home only turns up one 'R about 14 hours away from where I am right now... Even if I were to add 1800 miles worth of gas costs + hotel, I'd be saving a few thousand compared to new. If I find a used hex-head that I can test ride, I'll do that as well.
I have the hex head R1200R (2007) & a new cam head R1200GSA (2012). The cam head definitely has a throatier sound & a bit better mid range, but the hex head still holds it's own. The difference isn't that severe. Unless you really love the new instrument cluster or the passenger grab rails, a hex head would be fine.

The R1200R has been a great all-rounder. I've toured with it, use it around NYC, gone carving thru twisty roads in the mountains. I ride with a friend on a Monster 900. He is able to get thru traffic in NYC a bit better due to lower weight & flickability. But when we get in the mountains, it's a wash and the R1200R easily keeps up with the Monster & often better (love the telelever). The R1200R will handle better than I am able to ride it.

Finding used ones is tough because those who have them love them. My friends were surprised that I was keeping the R, when I got my GSA, but the R is just that good and different than the GSA that I can't part with it.

I ride with another R1200R rider who is probably around 5' even. He put on a lower seat & can get on the balls of his feet. He has toured with it more than I have. He rode from NYC out to Colorado & back, so if you want something that can morph into tourer & carver, the R1200R is a great choice.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:53 AM   #63
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Having owned them myself, i'd give the nod to the Ducati Multistrada 1200St for its all around capability, the BMW R1200R for its versatility and craftsmanship, and the older Multistrada 1100S for the great value it offers. Nothing beats the riding experience of a Ducati, but they do have their shortcomings. BMW ownership typically ranks very high, and there's something to be said for that too. As for the R1200R, they didn't send many to the US as they're simply not very popular here (opposite in Europe), but they did improve the bike some which helped sales over the last couple of years. I personally find them priced a bit high for what you get, and when you're done outfitting it with a windscreen, abs, luggage, and the like, its price starts to encroach upon the larger BMW road going bikes.

Feel ok about buying a BMW and not having a dealership nearby, but not with a Ducati, especially if a MTS12 is what you decide upon.

Have fun with the hunt,
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:35 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by oalvarez View Post
Having owned them myself, i'd give the nod to the Ducati Multistrada 1200St for its all around capability, the BMW R1200R for its versatility and craftsmanship, and the older Multistrada 1100S for the great value it offers. Nothing beats the riding experience of a Ducati, but they do have their shortcomings. BMW ownership typically ranks very high, and there's something to be said for that too. As for the R1200R, they didn't send many to the US as they're simply not very popular here (opposite in Europe), but they did improve the bike some which helped sales over the last couple of years. I personally find them priced a bit high for what you get, and when you're done outfitting it with a windscreen, abs, luggage, and the like, its price starts to encroach upon the larger BMW road going bikes.

Feel ok about buying a BMW and not having a dealership nearby, but not with a Ducati, especially if a MTS12 is what you decide upon.

Have fun with the hunt,
Thanks oalvarez!

I hear you on the price of the R... ~$17,000 new with panniers & top case? Ouch. But I don't want the weight or tupperware of the RT. Wish they offered a current RS/ST camhead...

Your dealer comment is definitely worth consideration.

There's a Ducati Dealer about 30 minutes north of me that I trust. Maybe not the quickest to get service done, but usually treats me right and I have a good history with them. So I wouldn't be scared of getting a Multi because of lack of dealer support. The height and cost kill me though.

There are two BMW dealers within an hour of me. One is Max BMW in NH who seems to have an amazing reputation! (I emailed them yesterday asking about test rides on an 'R, I had an answer back in 3 minutes. 3! They offer free pickup and delivery for scheduled maintenance... Seems too good to be true.)

A local Suzuki/Kawasaki dealer told me this past weekend that they probably can't offer a test ride until April or May, and even then, it's a quick up the street and back...

nielsm;

If I can find a used hex-head, I'll give it a try. While I like the new dash layout better on the cam-head, I don't like it a few thousand dollars worth... You describe exactly why I think it might be the right fit. Almost as much fun as the Monster, but with the ability to become a long-distance tourer for two with very little work.

Thanks all!

With any luck, I'll be test riding the 'R this weekend... I've read there's a test-ride victims club on these things.

-Alec
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:07 PM   #65
BossMaverick
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The Bandit (aka GSX1250FA) is really a sweet bike when you ride it and realize how much torque it has. Of course I'm biased towards the Bandits since I own one, but it really is an awesome bike for doing it all (minus gravel and off road). In my opinion at least, the bike doesn't feel like it weighs what it does and it feels like it has more power then 98hp because of how much torque it has.

Your heart might feel differently about the 1250 once you test ride it.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:34 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by AlecMyrddyn View Post
Thanks oalvarez!

There are two BMW dealers within an hour of me. One is Max BMW in NH who seems to have an amazing reputation! (I emailed them yesterday asking about test rides on an 'R, I had an answer back in 3 minutes. 3! They offer free pickup and delivery for scheduled maintenance... Seems too good to be true.)
I bought my GSA from Max in CT in late December. They are a great dealership. The pickup & delivery offer is great & I used it to delivery the bike as I didn't have a way to get a ride up to the dealership.

They have great seminars as well & offer lots of group ride events. I was at a Garmin seminar there last weekend (probably about 30 people rode in at around 32 degree weather from all over New England & NY/NJ).

I did see a number of the new R in the dealership, I think I counted about 5, which is the most I've seen in any dealership before.

I haven't been to the NH dealership, but I understand it was the first. Highly recommended.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:36 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by AlecMyrddyn View Post
With any luck, I'll be test riding the 'R this weekend... I've read there's a test-ride victims club on these things.
Check out r1150r.org. A common theme there is "Test riding a R1200R is dangerous to your finances"
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:48 PM   #68
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Just consider for a while to test also a K1300S when visiting next time a BMW dealer. It probably comes cheaper then a R1200R on the second hand market. But it definitely will give you back tons of emotions and it will be a better all-rounder than a naked. Finally it is amazing for the track days.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:16 AM   #69
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So - what did you get?
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:09 PM   #70
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So - what did you get?
Haven't bought anything yet...

But I just walked in the door after returning for a test ride on a 2012 R1200R, and the grin won't go away!

It was everything I had hoped it to be, absolutely perfect riding position & comfort, for both me and the girlfriend. It's 40 degrees out today, and even with no windshield I felt sheltered enough. At the same time, it should have enough airflow for the summer.

So I've decided on an '11 or '12 R1200R, next step is trying to find a deal on one!

I really appreciate everyone's suggestions, there are a ton of awesome bikes out there right now.

I'll reply again when I've found one, and include some pictures.

-Alec
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:45 PM   #71
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Home last night, running great!
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:05 PM   #72
jon_l
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So.....

You going to share some details? Used, I assume from the header colouring, since it's too freaking cold for you to have ridden a new one enough to discolour yet.

Tell us
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:26 PM   #73
AlecMyrddyn OP
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So.....

You going to share some details? Used, I assume from the header colouring, since it's too freaking cold for you to have ridden a new one enough to discolour yet.

Tell us
Found it on Craigslist! 450 miles away, so Friday & Saturday were spent driving down to PA and back.

It's a 2011 with 4,100 miles. Sport screen. TPMS. Panniers with Cee Baileys liners. Included with the bike was a BMW Atlantis 2 jacket, BMW backpack, and a Gerbings jacket liner with variable controller.

Price for everything was about $3000 less than just the bike alone! So I got a great deal, bike isn't even broken in from what I read about the boxer motor.

Rides like a dream. I feel like I just fit with the bike. Can't wait to put some serious miles on it.

Alec
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:17 PM   #74
larrylarry75
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Ninja 650R gets my vote

I'm not going to bother reading all of this thread, got other things more important to do. If you and I were buds I'd tell you to have a go at a Ninja 650R. No ABS but who cares? Can you say stop? OK, now that we're past that biz the little 650 Ninja will do all that you asked for and more. Weather protection isn't great but given your long list it's a compromise. GIVI makes enough hard stuff to carry more than you're likely to need so buy their panniers & top box. Add heated grips, Add a decent windshield. Weird out on farkles. Bottom line is it will do the job, not cost an arm and a leg, and it's fun as hell to ride. Long distances too. Thousands of miles. Zip maintenance. Good looks. Plenty of power. Great mileage - 50+mpg. I rode my '06 to Alaska, then 2 years later to Nova Scotia. It's sitting in the barn right now waiting to leave for Mexico. All of this from the SW coast of OR. Rider is now 71. So what are you waiting for....hope it's not her approval? Buy her an AirHawk.

Good luck

LL75
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:54 AM   #75
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Since you like Italian.
Consider a Ducati ST3 or better yet an Aprilia Futura.
For pillion comfort an Aprilia Caponord. catfish maps give it 100hp/50mpg. The later ones had ABS.
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